Our walks don't just involve the dogs standing around looking awesome, they also involve quite a bit of exploration and rabble rousing. I can't imagine moving back to somewhere that would require taking the dogs to another location to walk them - having the space for them to be safe here is pure heaven. I have a large expanse of lawn, as you may have noticed, that is just over an acre of which the dogs have access to about three quarters. They make good use of this area with wrestling, chasing, showing off and general showboating. The players vary but the game is always the same: a smackdown, a pursuit, another body slam or two, some ear biting, tackling and more bolting about in fits of glee. The Boy and Cora make good use of the space - it's no wonder they didn't use my postage stamp backyard in Pictou for this sort of activity. And don't worry about Esme, she is in there like a dirty shirt biting the ankles of whichever dog is on the losing end of the encounter, she backs a winner, does Esme.
Leeloo makes no bones about playing dirty. She doesn't let up and never backs down and insists on winning no matter the cost. She is very inclined to play with her front feet, using them to smash, hit, pummel and grab. She has always been very adept with those white paws and many a Cora has lost a battle as a result. She's getting it from above and below in this case!
Cora's signature move is rolling onto her back. I once watched her dance about in front of Boy for several minutes and every few seconds she would drop to the ground, roll over once and then get up. I think it was her invitation to play, as in "See, I am no threat, play with me!" and then once engaged she'd open a can of Whoop-Ass. Silly Cora, so funny. She never gets upset about being on her back, even when tackled by three other dogs, she loves it. Her ending up on her back in this situation is not an accident, she drops to the ground on her own and her pursuers skim right past her, she then pops up and bolts off in another direction. Strange but clever.
Sometimes Cora ends up on her back and stays there whether by design or being pinned. When it's The Boy pinning you it can be hard to get up! Esme is in there like a dirty shirt and if you look close enough you can see teeth on Cora's leg. Bad Esme! Everyone gets a piece of Cora. After play sessions like this she comes into the house looking like she's been through a battle field with lumps and bumps all over her head, body and legs. It's alarming unless you know that she's spent the last 30 minutes getting the crap beaten out of her.
What Cora and Esme do best is run. And run and run and run. Cora loves a good chase and she especially loves to play with Esme because Esme is always up for a gallop. This works well for me because running is the one thing that wears these two out in a short amount of time. The Boy and Leeloo like to run also but it's usually in a lot shorter bursts and then they stand around watching Cora and Esme behave like maniacs - you can almost see the eyerolls at each other like "That's YOUR kid". I wish I could say I think Esme and Cora's behaviour is because of youth but I have a feeling this is something they'll do forever.
Whether Esme is in front or behind ... this is the scene. It fills me with joy to see them filled with joy. Can't ask for much more than that.